Overview
Biography
Publications
Conferences and Workshops
Links
Ask the Grade Doctor
Contact Me
Links
  

 
Ask The Grade Doctor

Full Question Detail

Return to All Questions

 : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

Question

My child's school district just went to this "Grading for Learning". My concern is the way it has been implemented - the students only receive grades for test and projects. They tell the story that this is how it's done in college. I have to question that entirely because I have been to college and have a student in college currently and that is not the way it's done. If a student does not test well how is this suppose to help them. Doing homework I have heard some teachers say it's not worth assigning because of the new grading system. What research has been done?

2013-10-08
Sheila Riley
 

The
Grade
Doctor
says:

There is a huge amount of research that shows when practice/learning activities (formative
assessment) are used as assessment FOR learning that subsequently on summative
assessments (tests, performance assessments, interviews, oral exams) students achieve at
higher levels. Students understand in band and basketball that practice 'counts,' and they
need to have that same understanding in the classroom as we want school to be about
learning not just the accumulation of points. Please note what I identified as the summative
assessments that should be used to determine grades; quality assessment requires varied
summative assessment so that we can get an accurate picture of each student's
achievement.

 

Karen's
Comment

2013-10-15

You state there is a huge amount of research to support your response. Can you share some
of this research? Who are the authors? Who are the school districts that show
increased/higher achievement levels? Why would you not include this in your response - even
just three or four articles from respected, published journals - to back your claim?


The Grade Doctor's
Comment

2013-10-17

I do not have the space or time to share the research here but authors you could look up include Dylan Wiliam, Paul Black, John Hattie, Grant Wiggins, Rick Wormeli, Damian Cooper, and Rick Stiggins. Wiliam in particular provides lots of examples of schools/districts that have experienced achievement gains. The classic article is "inside the Black Box' by Black and Wiliam that was in the Kappan magazine in October 1998.


jim's
Comment

2013-10-16

You're only trying to sell books. Your system has not worked anywhere.
It has been a distaster everwhere it has been tried. Parents, students, and especially teachers
having this a thumbs down everywhere. What are your qualifications that make you some kind
of expert?


Rene's
Comment

2013-10-17

1998??? Seriously..its 2013


The Grade Doctor's
Comment

2013-10-22

I was tempted not to respond to your personal attack but I decided I should say that my motivation is to try to ensure that students come out of school as learners not grade grubbers and that while they are in school they receive grades that are accurate, consistent and meaningful, qualities that have been sadly lacking in traditional grading. You are simply wrong about 'thumbs down everywhere' - it has been legislated in Oregon and Maine and for evidence that grading for learning is enthusiastically supported get on to #sbgchat on Twitter at 9 PM EDT Wednesday. My qualifications are 23 years in the classroom, ten years as a curriculum co-ordinaor in a large school district and 14 years as an independent consultant specializing in assessment, grading and reporting.


The Grade Doctor's
Comment

2013-10-17

It is probably the most important single article about assessment published in the last 50 years; because it was published 15 years ago does not diminish its importance or value. If you want more recent articles on the same topic read Wiliams's book "Embedded Assessment" and/or books/articles by John Hattie.


Kimberly Stammire Cockrell's
Comment

2013-10-20

Could you please provide me with case studies or links to showing results where GFL was
implemented? I would like the names and locations of schools, statistics showing schools
before, during and after implementation. This information should include but not be
limited to: students GPAs, teacher retention, student drop out rate, parent and student
satisfaction/dissatisfaction, college/university applications and acceptances and the
number of years studied.


The Grade Doctor's
Comment

2013-10-22

Quite simply no as I do not have the time to do all that you are asking. I have provided information about authors/research that support sbg in previous responses here. If you want this sort of detailed information you will have to do your own research.


Shelley's
Comment

2013-10-21

I came on here with the same questions as Miss Karen. I too am very interested in the
research and statistics to support one mans "theory". I have searched and searched the
world wide web and can find ZERO statistics or school districts that have successfully
implemented your program. Stating you do not have the time or space to support your
theory is quite sketchy! You should already have this information readily available and
posted on your site. What information do you supply to school districts as you try to sell
them your product? Do you tell school districts to go look up these authors too? If the
only foundation you have for your program is based off research by 8 other authors, one of
which was a magazine article from 1998..... boy are our students and nation in trouble?!?!
Lets be realistic, the world has changed in 15 years, the educational world, the college
world, and the career world. You cannot make me believe in you, your theory, and your
program that will completely transform my daughters school district today based off a
article written by one man 15 years ago! iPad's were not even invented 15 year ago.....how
does that factor into our schools in 2013?


The Grade Doctor's
Comment

2013-10-22

Shelley you make my point for me brilliantly - you and others who criticize sbg are arguing for the maintenance of a grading system that has been in place for decades and no longer fits with what we know about how we learn and what are the best ways to use assessment to support learning. If you don't believe me read books and articles by Guskey, McTighe, Wormeli, Cooper, Stiggins, Chappuis, Tomlinson, Donen, Brookhart, Marzano and many others. I do not have a 'product' - what I have is a critique of traditional grading and I make suggestions to educators about how grading and reporting can be made accurate, consistent, meaningful and supportive of learning.


Susan Walters's
Comment

2013-10-22

You are selling a product...your product is your services as a consultant. Are you not a paid
consultant?


The Grade Doctor's
Comment

2013-10-22

Yes.


Lynn Zimmerman's
Comment

2013-10-22

How do you not have the space or time to provide links that prove with specific, irrefutable,
hard data that the product you are selling works? Just because the authors you refer to
agree, doesn't mean that their theory is correct. We, as parents, want to see actual data on
this system that you have sold to our school board and is being tried out on our children.
The only data we can find, shows that GFL does NOT work as it is presented. The only
success stories that we can find were in schools where the system was drastically altered.
We are tired of the "fluff" answers that don't answer anything.


The Grade Doctor's
Comment

2013-10-22

I haven't sold anything to your school board, I have never even been to Quakertown. There is solid research to support assessment for learning, i.e., formative assessment for feedback, summative assessment of grades. There is solid research that shows using grades and rewards as punishment doesn't work. There is years and years of data showing that traditional grading is inaccurate and inconsistent. What we learned in grade 5 math shows that the traditional methods used for calculating grades are mathematically incorrect. If you want evidence tune in to #sbgchat on Wednesday nights at 9 PM EDT. If you want evidence ask the legislators in OR and ME why they have legislated sbg for their states. SBG is good for students because it contributes to developing students as self-directed independent LEARNERS not grade grubbers.

 

Top